I noticed that many beauty products these days are promoted as containing Shea Butter. Face creams, hand creams, foot creams, body wash, hair conditioners, the list is exhaustive.
For those who don’t know, Shea Butter is the beige colored creamy solid oil extracted from the fruit of the Shea tree and contains naturally occurring vitamin A and vitamin E as well as complex fatty acids and is known for its emollient and moisturizing properties. In fact, my impression is that this is a very rich ingredient. I didn’t know that it is also edible.
However, my question is, does this stuff work for our skin?
The answer seems to depend on whether we are able to get our hands on pure unrefined Shea Butter. Because if we do, then it can apparently help promote regeneration of damaged skin cells and is really good for healing problematic skin conditions such as eczema, rashes, very dry skin, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles plus even scars and burns.
However, many of those available in the market are cosmetic grade Shea Butter which means, they’re refined and treated with chemicals as well as preservatives and have lost some if not all of their natural properties.
And then there is also the issue that once Shea Butter is aged or has lost its natural integrity, many of these wonderful benefits are also gone.
This is what I found out by reading 21 reasons to use Shea Butter at American Shea Butter Institute. And to find out what is really 100% pure unrefined Shea Butter, here’s what they say:
At room temperature, premium Shea Butter is a soft uniformly beige colored creamy solid that readily melts in the hands and is quickly absorbed by the skin….Shea Butter is not green, gray, dark brown or white. Shea products with these colors are modified substitutes sometimes bearing the name 100% Shea Butter. Furthermore, pure, natural Shea Butter has a characteristic smell.
I remember smelling pure natural Shea Butter and it is erm, not exactly appealing. I haven’t tried spreading on my body but I was informed that the smell will be fully absorbed by the skin leaving no fragrance after 10 or 20 minutes.
So if you’re in the market for Shea Butter goodness for your skin, and the so-called 100% pure Shea Butter smells good, then you might not be getting the real stuff.